Member Spotlight: Megan C.

“Not moving is not an option.” That’s something I find myself saying a lot as I’m giving modifications in my classes. It’s true for modifying a burpee and it’s true for me every day during the pregnancy of my fourth child, due to join us sometime in the next couple of weeks. Leading and participating in the group fitness classes offered at all three of our Dane County YMCAs has been a life line for my physical and mental well being by keeping me moving over the last nine months. For the opportunity to exercise with my friends everyday and show that the pregnant body is not one of inability or weakness, but capability and strength, I am exceedingly grateful.

When we found out I was pregnant earlier this year, my husband, three daughters and I were thrilled. I was especially excited to continue my regular 6-day-a-week fitness routine throughout my pregnancy. I knew this was not only possible but also extremely important for my health. Regular exercise during pregnancy significantly reduces the risks of a number of gestational discomforts and complications. Of course, it is important to have the approval of one’s health care provider before continuing or beginning any exercise program, especially during pregnancy. It is a great testament to the community that exists at our YMCA that my health care provider just so happens to work out in one of my classes! She not only approved of the type of exercise that I was doing, but worked out right along with me!

I hope that over the better part of last year, I have been some inspiration to the female members of the Y that become pregnant and have any doubt that they can keep going. Yes, some days I was tired, some days I was nauseated, some days my hips hurt, and toward the very end some abdominal exercises became impossible not to modify. Our bodies are strong, pregnancy is hard work, and labor is an extremely physical event that we can prepare ourselves for through exercise. Often, childbirth is compared to a marathon; I think we should train for it with the same dedication and perseverance. It’s hard work, it hurts, but you can do it.